Analysis: Augusta County Sheriff Donald Smith bucks voting trend

Donald SmithAugusta County voters largely voted straight ticket, except when it came to the vote for sheriff.

The county re-elected Donald Smith, an independent facing a Republican challenger, Neil Kester, on a day in which voters otherwise went straight Republican.

The percentage of votes for Republican candidates for General Assembly ranged from 72 percent (Chris Runion in the 25th House District race) to 79.9 percent (Emmett Hanger in the 24th Senate District race).

Steve Landes, the Republican nominee, did only get 49.2 percent in his campaign for Augusta County Clerk of Court, but that was in a five-way race, and the candidate who finished second, with 20.4 percent, Carolyn Bragg, was elected to the Board of Supervisors as a Republican, and only ran as an independent to avoid having a contested GOP primary.

Voters also went Republican in all four Board of Supervisors races, notably unseating long-time Wayne District Supervisor Wendell Coleman, an independent, in the process.

Story short, it was a Republican love-fest. Except in the sheriff race.

Smith got 65.8 percent of the vote in the race, and won all 26 precincts, and none of them were close, either.

This despite facing not only Kester, but tens of thousands of spending from two PACs dedicated to unseating Smith.

Don’t expect to see Smith face another challenger any time soon, would be the lesson to take away here.

Story by Chris Graham


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